RALEIGH – After Governor Roy Cooper’s veto of the General Assembly’s biennial budget was overridden in dramatic fashion in the N.C. House late this summer, the N.C. Senate will take a decidedly more telegraphed stab at the override’s final step later Monday afternoon. The current budget impasse is the longest in almost two decades, spawned by Cooper’s taking of the budget hostage to demand Medicaid expansion and more spending.
The announcement came last week that the budget would be on the calendar Monday.
After all the drama from the House’s “surprise” override vote, Senate leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) has given all senators at least 24 hours notice on the vote.
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However, Berger is working with a different math equation to solve for a successful override. Republicans hold 29 seats in the senate (Democrats 21), but they need 30 votes to reach the three-fifths majority required for an override and the Democrats have pledged to uphold Cooper’s veto. Thus, assuming every senator shows up, they need to flip at least one Democrat to get the job done. However, if at least two Democrats fail to show up for the vote, Republicans could override with the three-fifths voting majority all by themselves.
So, the Senate Republicans’ job is to convince one Democrat to directly help blow up Governor Cooper’s hissy fit, or persuade a couple Democrats to take a walk to the same effect. The announcement of the calendared vote concludes, “Every member of the Senate has a choice to make: To be in the chamber and vote, or not.”
So will they, or won’t they, be able to override Cooper’s political stunt of a veto? You can track the vote when the Senate comes into session here.